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Win or bust for knockout hopefuls

Published: Monday 8 December 2003, 13.01CET
There will be eight places in the UEFA Champions League's last 16 are up for grabs on Matchday 6.

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Published: Monday 8 December 2003, 13.01CET

Win or bust for knockout hopefuls

There will be eight places in the UEFA Champions League's last 16 are up for grabs on Matchday 6.
After defeating Juventus FC 2-0 last week, Galatasaray SK travel to Real Sociedad de Fútbol on Wednesday for a Matchday 6 fixture which will see the victorious club advance to the UEFA Champions League knockout phase - one of five such matches.

Simple maths
Juventus will win Group D with a home draw against Olympiacos CFP, leaving Real and Galatasaray to fight it out in San Sebastian for the second qualifying berth and a place in the 12 December draw for the last 16. The maths are simple: maximum points would see either team through, while Real need just a draw. Olympiacos must win in Turin, and hope that Real avoid defeat, to reach the UEFA Cup at Galatasaray's expense.

Identical situation
FC Lokomotiv Moskva are in an identical situation to Real in Group B. If they do not lose at Highbury they will qualify, although a win for Arsenal FC would see them cap a memorable fightback by finishing at the section summit. Three points for either side in the other group fixture, FC Dynamo Kviv v Internazionale FC, would also be enough for the victor to secure a top-two finish.

Four in contention
All four teams in Group A are also preparing to do battle for a place in the next stage. The quartet are separated by just a point, guaranteeing tension when Olympique Lyonnais host Celtic FC and RSC Anderlecht visit FC Bayern München. Even if Bayern win at the Olympiastadion they will not finish on top of the pool should there be a win for either Lyon or Celtic at the Stade Gerland.

Sensational win
Group C is more straightforward. PSV Eindhoven must beat RC Deportivo La Coruña 2-0 or by three clear goals to join AS Monaco FC in the next round. If they fail to do so they will finish third and qualify for the third round of the UEFA Cup. If Depor prevail, Monaco will have to beat AEK Athens FC to win the section courtesy of a superior head-to-head record boosted by that sensational 8-3 victory against the Galicians. If Monaco lose and PSV win three teams will finish on ten points, but the Dutch side would be eliminated.

'Unrealistic' ambition
FC Porto would win Group F with a convincing success at Real Madrid CF on Tuesday, yet coach José Mourinho is content with a place in last 16 along with the Spanish champions. "It is unrealistic for any team to think they can go to Madrid and win 3-0," he said. Olympique de Marseille need to avoid losing at FK Partizan to reach the UEFA Cup at the home side's expense.

Chance for Besiktas
Besiktas JK will top Group G from Chelsea FC, who have already progressed, if they overcome the Londoners for a second time next Tuesday. A draw would see the Turkish champions through if AC Sparta Praha defeat S.S. Lazio as Besiktas have a superior head-to-record against the Czechs. Conversely, they have an inferior one to Lazio. A Chelsea victory would leave the door open for Sparta or Lazio if they were to win in Prague.

Three-way tussle
There is also a three-way tussle for second place in Group H behind the holders AC Milan. AFC Ajax will claim second place with a victory at Club Brugge KV irrespective of the result between Milan and RC Celta de Vigo. However, both Brugge and Celta still have designs on pipping the Dutch club to the runners-up spot.

Last updated: 08/12/03 17.09CET

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